Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Feast for the 4th

We had an excellent feast for the 4th of July.  Some friends came up for the weekend and we ate our hearts out (most likely literally...or rather now our arteries are major clogged).  I really wasn't in the creative mood, so I turned to who other than (yes, you guessed right I'm sure) the Pioneer Woman.  She is just the best (if you can find me someone better, let me know).  Here's what was on the menu:

Jalapeno Poppers (I'm SO addicted!)
  • fresh jalapenos
  • cream cheese, softened
  • bacon, sliced in 1/2 or 1/3 depending on size of bacon & jalapenos
Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise.  With a spoon, remove seeds and membranes (if you want it a little hotter, leave a little in).  Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half.  Wrap jalapeno with bacon piece.  Stick toothpick through the middle.  Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375° oven for 20-25 minutes.  You don't want the bacon to shrink too much, but after 20 minutes if the bacon isn't brown enough, turn on the broiler for a couple minutes to finish it off.  

PW's Potato Salad
  • 5 pounds potatoes (she uses russet, I used red)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp prepared mustard
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 8 small pickles (she uses sweet, I used dill)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
Cut potatoes in halves or thirds, then boil until fork tender. Drain. Mash potatoes or run them through a ricer or food mill to make them extra fluffy.  Fold potatoes together with mayo, mustard, green onions, salt, pepper.  Fold in pickles and eggs, then taste for seasonings, adding more salt, mustard, or mayo as needed.  If need more moisture, can add a little pickle juice from the jar.

PW's Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

  • 1 (7 oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 16 oz corkscrew pasta
  • 1 jar olives (she used Kalamata, I used plain ol' sliced black olives)
  • 1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Several basil leaves, chopped or julienne
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare dressing by blending sundried tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and vinegar until tomatoes are chopped.  Blend while drizzling in olive oil; continue blending until mixed together.  Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water until no longer hot.  Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the pasta, add olives, and toss together.  Add remaining ingredients, tossing together and adding more dressing until the salad is coated to your liking.  Serve on a big platter with an extra sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

and these Tasty Burgers of My Husbands Own Creation

I really can't tell you exactly what was in the patty.  Basically into the ground beef he mixed in chopped bacon, goat cheese, Worcestershire, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cayenne, salt, and pepper (he's the mixing king!).  Then grilled them on up on the bar-b.  I topped mine with sliced avocado, fresh tomato, and caramelized onions.  Oh baby, it was tasty!

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